|GEMKonnect News Service reports that India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday registered six cases against Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd. and its associate firm Forever Precious Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd., as well as their promoter, diamond dealer Jatin Mehta, for alleged fraud and cheating of INR1,530 crore ($235 million), involving bank loans of IDBI Bank, Central Bank and Vijaya Bank, as reported by The Indian Express.
The news sources further notes that Winsome Diamonds has been declared a willful loan defaulter, owing about INR7,000 crore ($1.08 billion) to a consortium of 15 public and private banks led by Standard Chartered and the Punjab National Bank (PNB), reports GemKonnect.
Winsome Diamonds owes INR4,680 crore ($720 million) to a consortium of banks headed by Standard Chartered Bank. Its associate firm Forever Precious Diamonds and Jewellery owes another INR2,122 crore ($326 million) to a set of banks led by PNB. According to the newspaper, Winsome is the country's second largest willful loan defaulter.
The news sources also reports that CBI sources said the role of bank officials in the alleged bank fraud was also being probed. Winsome Diamonds has reportedly claimed that the firm and its subsidiaries have not diverted funds and were victims of non-payment by customers in the UAE after goods were sent to them.Jatin Mehta's wife Sonia and sons Vishal and Suraj are listed as directors of Singapore-based Type IIa Technologies Pte. Ltd. which manufactures lab-grown diamonds. Vishal Mehta is the president of the International Grown Diamond Association, a global representative body of lab-grown diamond makers.